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Think On These Things, Issue #003
June 01, 2014
Think On These Things
A Bimonthly E-Zine of Bible Studies With Chris
Table of Contents
What's NewSince the last mailing, these articles have been added to appliedchristianstudies.com
Two Things I Must Do To Follow Jesus
Are you totally committed to Christ? Are you so committed that you are willing to give up anything and do anything to be His disciple? In Luke 14.26,27, we learn that there are two things you and I must do to follow Jesus.
First, I must hate my family (Luke 14.26). Hate is a strong word. Jesus has always commanded that His disciples love. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matt. 22.39). So when Jesus said we must hate our family to follow Him, doesn’t that seem inconsistent with His other teachings? The idea is not to literally hate, but to love them less that Jesus. Being a disciple means that I must love Him more than I love anyone else, even more than my own family.
Second, I must bear my cross (Luke 14.27). Jesus was about to carry His cross to Calvary. He tells His audience that if they want to be His disciples, they must carry their cross as He was about to carry His. It is the idea of sacrifice. Are you willing to give up your very life for the sake of Christ? Jesus expects no less.
LUKE 14.27: “You cannot be my disciple” I am to love Jesus more than anyone else. I am to be willing to sacrifice everything for Him. Only then can I be His disciple.
The Most Beautiful Woman
The cover of People magazine’s Most Beautiful edition displays a picture of Lupita Nyong'o. Flipping through the pages of the magazine will reveal her secrets to looking as good as she does including diet, hair products, make-up, wardrobe, etc. Did People magazine get it right? Is Lupita Nyong'o the most beautiful woman in 2014?
The problem with beauty is that it is very subjective. It is true that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” However, the only eyes that really matter are the eyes of God. And the most beautiful woman in the eyes of God does not depend on the kind of hair products she uses or the shade of lipstick. It is the person of the heart.
Peter describes the most beautiful woman not in term of outer beauty with “arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel” (1 Pet. 3.3). Indeed such a woman can be beautiful on the outside, but have a character as undesirable as can be. The wise man describes such a woman as a swine with a ring of gold in its snout (Prov. 11.22).
The true beauty of a woman radiates from within. It is the “…incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Pet. 3.4). This godly woman is full of good works (Acts 9.36). She is trustworthy as her husband and children can trust her (Prov. 31.11,12). She strives to be an example of godliness to those around her as she “…the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children” (Titus 2.4). She is an example to her husband so that “even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives” (1 Pet. 3.1).
In a world where appearance is most important quality in both man and woman, where magazines and television portray the beautiful woman as a picture of physical perfection, women are compelled to meet this unfair and unimportant standard. It makes the godly woman valuable not only intrinsically, but because of scarcity. No wonder the question was asked in Proverbs 31.10: “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.”
For those seeking to be truly beautiful, remember: “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised” (Prov. 31.30).
Measuring By The Standard
Image if everyone had the right and freedom to determine for themselves how long an inch should be. One may decide that an inch is as long as a pencil. Another may decide an inch is as short as the eraser on top. Image how difficult it would be to buy lumber. Suppose the local Home Depot charged a dollar per foot of lumber. Yet there was no standard for how long a foot should be. Therefore one customer may get a truckload of wood for a few dollars while another customer would get a couple of planks and be charged near a hundred dollars.
The same is true with spiritual matters. If everyone had the right to “measure” for themselves matters of right and wrong then it would create mass confusion…and it does! From issues revolving around homosexuality and gay marriage to the manner in which the church ought to worship God there seems to be little agreement in the religious world. And many in the world have been turned off to Christianity in general not knowing what the truth is or if truth even exists.
For this reason God has given us the Bible. It has not been left to each individual to determine what is right and wrong (Jer. 10.23), for God has given us a spiritual measuring stick. And with it all doctrines and practices can be measured.
If we have the Bible today, then why is there still much confusion? Simply put, man has attempted to inject his own doctrines and practices into the word of God. But if we take what it written forsaking all other teachings then we will easily have the answer of what is and is not truth.
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